Shooting RAW or JPEG | Focused on the Magic : Shooting RAW or JPEG


Shooting RAW or JPEG

Illustration ©

Online photography message boards across the worldwide web always have at least one discussion about shooting in RAW vs JPEG formats. Sometimes the discussions get quite heated.

As with everything in photography, from camera models to memory card size, it's a matter of personal preference.

Before you can really decide what's best for your shooting style you should consider what a RAW or JPEG file is. 

Think of the RAW file as a digital negative. All the data from the picture is captured in it's entirety along with the image's metadata (camera's settings, the lens and more). The information is then written to your memory card.

The benefit of producing RAW file beauties is that there is no in-camera processing done before it's sent to your memory card. "Just the facts" as it were.
Once you've downloaded your RAW files from your memory card into a program such as Adobe Photoshop, the fun begins. You can change the values of the color hue, saturation, white balance and lots more. Hopefully creating a better picture than you started out with. Meanwhile you retain the original RAW data file. After editing you can save it as a JPEG, GIF, PNG  to print or publish. 

The benefit of a JPEG file is that it's been processed by the camera and is a much smaller size that is sent to your memory card. As you can see from the illustration above, the values you had fun playing with in a RAW file are set (defined) first before going to the memory card. There are a various qualities of JPEG's from fine to normal depending on camera makes and models.
You can still edit your JPEG images in editing programs and save as a new photo file but you cannot adjust the original data. 

In very tricky lighting situations like dark rides, fireworks shows or those once in a lifetime moments you may want to consider shooting in RAW format or a combination JPEG Fine and RAW. 
What do you think? Do you shoot RAW or a combination RAW/JPEG?

I hope you are having a Disney day!

Thanks for stopping by Focused on the


  1. Great tips. I may have to try that next trip. Hoopefully it could improve my dark ride photos.

  2. Oh my goodness, I never realized what a hot-button issue this is! I guess that's because I'm more of a point-and-shoot kind of gal! Thanks, Debs, I learned a lot!

  3. I'm kinda embarrassed to say that all my WDW pix--and 99% of the images on my web site--are from my iphone! The older I get, the less I carry...

  4. I hear ya' Dave. I can't wait to use my new iPhone in WDW in September and I'm bringing along my sherpa....err, I mean my DS to carry everything else;)

  5. You're welcome Kathy! I hope this helps keep you out of the fray;)

  6. DisneyDonnaKay2:55 PM

    As someone who has been a serious amateur photographer this is definitely a hot button issue in the photography world!! I have to be honest, at WDW I am a JPEG girl. Great post Diane!!

  7. Great topic, Deb!!! We shoot exactly the way you do - try to get it right in camera, shoot primarily JPG and then RAW where we might need some post-processing help. We typically shoot about 300-400 photos a day at WDW, and all of those being RAW files would simply be unmanageable - both storage-wise and processing time-wise.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...